Yet Another 10 Uncomfortable Truths About Radical Islam

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Linda Sarsour (far right) with feminist icon Gloria Steinem at the Women’s March after Trump’s inauguration (Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
  1. Radical Islam gives some sections of the Right a clear enemy to focus on, to get people worried about and rally them round the flag, so they can expand the power of the national security state. They may or may not be doing this deliberately.
  2. Pushback against Radical Islam gives some sections of the Left an opportunity to keep the pot boiling over past racial injustice and rally people to the flag to continue the fight against the Right.They may or may not be doing this deliberately.
  3. Some people bash Islam all the time because they’re racists and because Islam is a religion primarily followed by black and brown people.
  4. Politicians from various parties will use radical Islam as a hook issue to reel people in and sell them their broader agenda.
  5. The Ottoman Empire was modernising and had a secular constitution, rights for all its citizens and had even legalized homosexuality in 1858. World War One destroyed that trajectory and ushered in a century of corrupt military dictatorships.
  6. Those dictatorships tried to push Islam out of public life entirely and, in their efforts and excesses, radicalized a generation. Foremost among these military leaders was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, father of modern Turkey, who forcibly secularized the country.
  7. What is now Islamism began as an attempt to revive the Islamic world during the 19th century in opposition to colonialism and European domination. Jamaat Islami and the Muslim Brotherhood, the two progenitor organizations of Sunni Islamism, were both founded in part in opposition to British colonialism. It was always first and foremost a political movement, and a religious movement second.
  8. Despite being a key American ally, Saudi Arabia has spent an estimated $100 billion since the 1970s exporting their radical Wahhabist outlook and causing extremism worldwide.
  9. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia has now been tasked with curbing extremism in the Muslim world and setting up the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology to do it. This is despite not having made any substantial changes to its theocratic system of government.
  10. Most people on all of the sides think they are good people and are trying their hardest to make the world, and their own lives, better.



10 Uncomfortable Truths About Radical Islam

10 More Uncomfortable Truths About Radical Islam

What You Wouldn’t Want Your Kids Learning

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Elliot Friedland

Elliot Friedland is a research fellow at Clarion Project.

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